Northampton community centre expansion set for planning approval

The application will be determined next week
The application will be determined next week

An extension to Rectory Farm Community Centre has been recommended for planning approval by Northampton Borough Council officers.

The centre is located off Olden Road and owned by the council itself, but managed by Community Spaces Northampton.

The community centre is currently used for a number of local groups and activities including a local playschool. The planning proposal seeks to improve the facilities by offering a separate hall, which could allow more than one activity to take place at any one time.

If granted planning permission, there would be a single storey extension within the courtyard to create the new hall. It also includes the addition of toilets and a store in the existing hall, and an outside play area being created in the courtyard.

The centre is located within the remaining farm building previously associated with Rectory farm. It appears to have been associated with the Walker family of whom Joseph Walker was Rector of Great Billing Parish for many years until his death circa 1899. The former farmhouse is now disused, and is currently unused and boarded up.

The nearest residential properties are located in Lowlands Close approximately 30 metres away from the community building. One letter of objection has been received from a local resident who raised concerns about increased noise and disturbance arising from the additional activities.

A report, which will be seen my members of the council’s planning committee when it determines the application next Tuesday (April 16) states: “The provision of an extra hall could potentially result in the centre being used for more activities and potentially an increase in noise and disturbance, however, given that the only opening being created to the outside leads into the courtyard, away from residential properties, it is considered that this would be minimal and does not warrant a refusal of the application.”

The proposed opening hours for the community centre would be 8am until 9.30pm from Monday until Saturday, and 10am until 6pm on Sundays and bank holidays.